Plants in the Home Greenhouse

  • The opportunity of winter sun in Colorado for heat and light to grow plants in a greenhouse

1) cold and sunny  2) short season 3) energy from coal and petroleum are expensive and atmosphere-polluting 4) greenhouse captures free energy 5) greenhouse is a tool to produce food and 6) is a cheerful winter room 7) protects plants from deer, raccoons, hail and grasshoppers.8) efficient use of water

  • The disadvantages of growing plants indoors

1) can get too hot 2) more pest problems: the leaves are not toughened by direct sun and wind, so they are more vulnerable to sucking insects like aphids and spider mites and to fungal diseases.3) The space is confined so soil prep and clean up are more difficult 4)less plant production is possible 5) must monitor plants closely

  • Food plants to grow in a greenhouse

1) Cool season veggies in a cool greenhouse: spinach, lettuces, parsely, arugula, chives, kale, chard, chervil, mache, broccoli, carrot, peas, scallion, cabbage, cilantro, broccoli raab,

2) Warm season veggies in a warm greenhouse: tomatoes, peppers, squash

      Pollination is an issue

  • Soil: how to make fertile, healthy soil

1) Sample custom blend: 50% topsoil, 10% sand 30% compost 10% expanded shale

2) Providing the minerals organically: Alpha One, liquid fertilizers, kelp, humate, earthworm castings,  rock dust, greensand, soft rock phosphate, calcium (sophisticated soil test +????)

3) Soil Life: the digestive system of the plant world, symbiosis-nutrient sharing, nitrogen-fixation, organic matter, water retention and tilth, oxygen; inoculation with mycorrhizae, benefical bacteria and using compost tea.

  • Pest management: how to prevent, monitor and suppress greenhouse pests

1) Healthy soil and correct cultural conditions prevent pest problems

2) Attention: look under leaves, look carefully at unhappy or sick plants

3) Knowledge: learn the insects-good and bad, learn the diseases, learn signs of nutritional deficiencies; get a hand lens or hand microscope to magnify your view

4) Cultural solutions: fans, air circulation, right spacing, good light

5) Right plants: test varieties, taste test, appropriate size, disease resistance

6) Simple non-toxic sprays: oils, herbals-garlic, rosemary, etc., neem, Green Cure,

7) Tolerance: good bugs & spiders, even wasps; some damage

  • Potential:

1) nutrient-rich, fresh, delicious, healthy organic food

2) grow your own organic veggie starts to put in the outdoor garden

3) save money on food and heating costs

4) reduce world pollution, carbon burning and greenhouse gases

4) uplifting winter environment to work or relax in

5) experiencing earth-plant-human relationships is healing and enlightening